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Xerox Phaser 3100MFP/X review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £124
inc VAT


mono laser, 20ppm print speed, USB, 412x447x386mm

Like the other mono lasers here, Xerox’s Phaser 3100MFP/X has only a USB port and a simple text-only LCD, but we were surprised by some of its extra features.

Beneath a flap next to its display is a full miniature keyboard, which you can use to send text messages, assuming your telephone provider has given you details of its SMS transmission server. The Sudoku puzzle generator is inexplicable. More useful is that you can connect a USB wireless adaptor to the printer to connect it to a wireless network.

The Phaser’s basic functions are simple. Mono lettering in our text document was dark and sharp, although characters became spidery at sizes of 8pt and below. At 18.5ppm for standard text and 5.3ppm for greyscale documents, the Phaser is a little slower than most of the other laser printers here. Greyscale quality was usable but not very attractive. Shading on graphs and illustrations was solid and precise, but prints were marred by horizontal streaks. Worse still was the Phaser’s reproduction of photographic images, which looked blocky with visible dither patterns.

You can scan images at up to 600dpi to a USB drive or your PC. When scanning from a PC, Vista and XP users are limited to a WIA scanner driver, which uses Windows’ basic image acquisition capabilities and provides only a handful of image correction options. A more advanced TWAIN driver is provided for Windows 2000 users. We were satisfied with the results of our WIA scan tests, particularly when it came to photographic images. Colours were a little brighter than in our original documents, but the effect was pleasing, particularly when scanning images for the web.

Despite its low price and vast range of features and capabilities, this MFP tries to hard to do everything but skimps on essentials such as a proper scanner driver and print quality. We also experienced unexpected paper jams during fast print jobs, particularly when performing ADF photocopies. We prefer Brother’s cheaper DCP-7030, while fax users should choose Lexmark’s X340.

Basic Specifications

Rating **
Maximum native print resolution 600x600dpi
Max optical resolution 600x600dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 20ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two greyscale 10x8in photos 1.1 1m 1s
Time for six greyscale 6x4in photos 1.0 1m 3s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 412x447x386mm
Weight 11.6kg
Noise (in normal use) 53dB(A)
Duty cycle 10,000 pages
Power consumption standby 10W
Power consumption idle 12W
Power consumption active 702W

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size A4
Maximum paper weight 162gsm
Standard paper inputs 2
Standard paper input capacity 251
Maximum paper inputs 2
Maximum paper input capacity 251
Duplex (code, cost if option) No


Printer technology mono laser
Language(s) host-based
Supported operating systems Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Vista-64/2003, Mac OS X 10.3 – 10.5, Linux
Maximum printer memory 32MB
Other laser features and options print from USB, scan to USB

Buying Information

Price £124
Consumable parts and prices 2,200 page cartridge, £46, 4,000 page 106R01379 cartridge, £68
Price per mono A4 page 1.69p
Price of 2nd paper cassette N/A
Warranty one year onsite

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 9s
A4 document at 150dpi 14s
A4 document at 300dpi 40s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 47s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi N/A

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 14s

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 600x600dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution 200x200dpi